Chris Steven, Abuja
The International Criminal Court (ICC), has been asked to investigate Taraba state governor, Darius Ishaku over the incessant killing in the state.
According to a criminal complaint petition written against the governor to the Office of Madame Fatou Bensouda, the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC), in Hague, Netherlands, the governor and some other top government officials in the state were accused of not doing enough to halt the killings.
In the petition, written by a civil society organization, Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC), through its attorney, Alexandra Thome, the CSO also joined the
Speaker of Taraba State House of Assembly, Mr. Abel Diah and Chairman of Sardauna Local Government Area, Mr. John Yep, as co-accused persons.
In the petition, the ICC Prosecutor was asked to obtain International Arrest Warrants for the accused persons from the ICC in accordance with Articles 58 (1) (a), 58 (1) (b) (i), 58 (1) (b) (ii) and 58 (1) (b) (iii) and proceed to arrest the Accused Persons so they can face their trial and also compels them upon conviction to pay compensation to the victims of genocide at Mambilla Plateau in the sum of $1,000,000,000 as punitive damages.
The petition was written following a bloody clash which started on 17th June, 2017 between the Nguroje community and herdsmen at the Mambilla Plateau neighbourhood in Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State.
The clash has led to the brutal slaughtering of over 300 children, pregnant women with their unborn babies and elderly persons who were too weak to escape from their assailants.
SHAC said in the petition, ‘Also, a total of about 17, 000 cattle were killed while several houses and villages were burnt around the area. Indeed, what became most worrisome to our client in recent time is the scale, extent and manner of the carnage, as people and animals are being killed in the most barbaric nature by irate mobs claiming to be the indigenes of Mambilla Plateau.
“Available records show that the mobs were protesting the arrest of a suspected criminal by the police and decided to launch co-ordinated attacks on Fulani cattle breeders”.
SHAC also said, “Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is obvious that crimes against humanity have been committed on the territory of Nigeria, thereby clothing the ICC with unfettered jurisdiction to investigate, arrest and try the persons involved in the attacks alongside Taraba State Government in accordance with Section 12 and 13 of the Rome Statute.
“It is rather disheartening to note that Nigeria is still battling with corruption in the judiciary after over 56 years of independence, thereby giving opportunity to certain powerful but unscrupulous elements to keep getting away with evil machinations against humanity. There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigerian judiciary is incapable of providing the needed solution to the raging crisis at Mambilla Plateau at the moment.
“To that extent, the solution lies with the ICC being the last hope of the common man to swiftly swing into action by offering an arena for investigation and hearing for the sake of justice, equity and fair play. We take solace in Article 15 (3) of the Rome Statute which qualifies this Criminal Complaint by itself as constituting “a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation” and mete out appropriate sanctions based on the prima facie cases of genocide, aiding and abetting illicit killings at Mambilla Plateau already established herein”